Monday, January 10, 2011

Rules Hack - Mass Combat and Trade

Reading Telecanter's Receding Rules was inspiring.  At the end of his house rules, there was a request thread, of sorts -- "requesting elegant solutions" for various in-game situations.  So...challenge accepted!  I don't know if these are elegant enough, as they are sort of off the top of my head...

Simple Mass Combat Rules
First of all, each side rolls a d20.  This is modified by:
Combatant has monsters in his unit
Combatant has elite members in his unit
Combatant has a legendary hero (ala Conan)
Combatant has a magic user
Combatant has double the amount of foe's army
Combatant is holed up inside a fortress*

* = one side only -- this would represent a siege.

Then roll.  The side that gets the highest number wins. 

For more granularity, you could say that each successful roll reduces the foe's army by half.  So, if you had 500 foes, a hit would bring you down to 250, then 175, then 90, then 45, 25, 12, 6, 3, 1, and 0.  

You might wish to divide the combatants into units, that way more soldiers get wiped out in a single attack.  So, for example, if the above combatant had 500 men, 500 divided into 10 units of 50 men each, you could simply have the units engage in combat.  Start with 10, first hit brings it down to 5, then 3, then 2, and 1, and finally the battle is won in five rolls instead of ten rolls as shown above.

Simple Trade Rules
First you figure out if you're trading by land or by sea.  Trading by land is shorter, but you get less of a return on your investment because pack horses cannot carry much.  Trading by sea is longer and riskier, but you get more of a return on your investment because ships can carry all sorts of things, and you can trade for exotic goods from all over.

Then, you take some of your gold, and put it into an investment in trade goods. 

Trading by sea means you roll 1d6 to find out your profit margin.  If you roll a 1-5, that is the amount you invested multiplies by.  So, if you invested 100 gold, rolling a 4 means you make 400 gold.  A "6" means the ship was lost at sea, along with the profits.  The roll is also for how many game months the ships were at sea.

Trading by land, you'd roll a 1d3 for profits.  Multiply what you invested by that number.  It also takes that many game months for your pack horses to make the journey. 

I'm still working on Simple Political and Social Intrigue rules.  Those rules are more difficult since intrigue is quite complex.

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